WCI, Inc. v. Ohio Department of Public Safety

Undercover agent accepts a fully nude lap dance from a dancer at “Cheeks,” a West Carrollton, Ohio strip club. With the agent’s extraordinarily thorough investigation (see pages 5-6 of the gov’t’s brief) completed, the state revokes the club’s liquor license, but gives it the option to pay a $25K fine instead. The club sues. Sixth Circuit: Most claims were correctly dismissed, but the district court erred in saying that the $25k fine is not subject to the Excessive Fines Clause. The Commission conceded that the fine is a penalty. So the district court must determine whether that penalty is an excessive one.

Tags: 2019, Excessive Fines Clause, Licensing, Sixth Circuit

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